Lack of education, unequal access to education

The best thing a government can do to substantively improve things for its population is to increase spending in education. Unfortunately, the benefits of such an investment are not seen till 20-30 years. In a world where most (elected) officials are only in power for 3 or 4 years, you can probably see why this doesn’t happen very often.

Problem: governing body’s short-term benefits outweigh the long-term needs of the greater population.


But in the end, how much do we really want things to change, and how quickly? We all know that real revolution is a violent and dangerous thing, and historically, there are few examples of sudden social change that came without vast and serious consequences. Certainly a revolution on the scale of the French Revolution would not be ideal, and we can look to the even more recent collapse of communism to see the long term fall-out of the sudden collapse of an economic system with nothing planned to take its place. It would be nice to know there were some people seriously working on a Plan B. (I know there are, but sometimes I worry they’re “not thinking outside the box”.)

Can we afford for things not to change though? My personal assessment is that this is not realistic. The problems inherent in the systems of governance and economics are having far-reaching and devastating results worldwide, on a diverse but interconnected range of issues — animal welfare, population control, food supply, pollution and climate change, poverty and disease, growing economic barriers to education, and inequality due to the growing gap between rich and poor, as the short-term needs of a few elite outweighing the long-term needs of the majority. These issues can be ignored only until one (or more) of them proves impossible to deny. I believe this day is coming. I hope we’re ready.

Fundamentally, this points to the main barrier to change. If most people do not see a problem, and those that do see one do not see a solution, then it is all moot.

Send in the clowns.